By Brian Hall
Monday 11 Jul 2011 12:38:00
Browse all Brian Hall articles


Brian Would like to thank the Red Lion for the use of the Internet as his is bolloxed. 


Bulls. Spain – a land of bullfighting. True, but there is another activity with the bulls, and it is one that I would never dream of entering. I am all for people who like running, as a pleasure and fitness drive, but the Spanish take this one step further. This seems to be the season when just about everywhere has a bull run. Various festivals centre upon a gang of bulls released in streets, chasing gangs of runners. Count me out. The tv shows some town or other most days, where raging bulls chase people through narrow alleys. The most famous one is in Pamplona, the Basque country – that was on the other day, and it looked mad. It made an away match at Milwall in the 80s look like a relaxing stroll in the park!


Far better to walk, or march, without a bull in sight, behind a Banner. And that is what I am thinking of this Saturday morning. I should be somewhere else. At the Durham Miners Gala. The numbers continue to grow year by year. True, we have no pits anymore, but we have the memories, the bands, the glorious banners, in short, the culture.

This aspect of Northumbrian heritage refuses to die – why should it? I can almost hear the sound of those bands echoing through the streets of Durham now. And feel a bit homesick.


Talking of health, fitness, and culture, had another good crack with Geordie out here. He is in his 70s, cycles about 30 miles a day, and has never, ever, forgotten his Tyneside roots. My kind of character. He was excited the other day about some kind of discovery at the old Scottish and Newcastle Brewery site. He reckoned that it involved natural thermal energy resources, and could be big news for our region. Given that he has a background in the energy business, this sounds good news. Just this time, though, let us not give it away – and get nowt back. See coal, ships, steel, manufacturing, inventions, etc.


Staying on culture, I felt a little sad the other night when I heard the  brilliant sounds of a Cherokee Indian on his instruments, playing in front of tourists. The music was brilliant, but he was a kind of unappreciated tourist attraction. He no doubt knew his roots, but not many others staring at him did. A proud nation, obliterated. I suppose though he is at least keeping that culture gannin…………just like the Durham Miners Gala does every year, except we have a far more powerful base to preserve all that is Northumbrian.



Enough of all that. Time for a nice one on cultures mixing. A big footy match is being arranged soon between the police here and the Gitano- gypsy –community to raise money for charity and state inter-communal solidarity. Some of the players will be professionals from one of the Majorcan team, mixed in with the police and the Gitano side. And the ref is a black lad. Nice one, eh.



 Time to dash. Weh, walk, not run – nee bulls around here.          

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